If you are reading this then you have the biggest blessing imaginable to be thankful for considering all that happened in 2020. You did not die in a helicopter or plane crash. You were not another black man or woman who lost your life due to racism or police brutality. You survived the “murder hornets”. You did not die from colon cancer or any other cancer. And most obviously, you did not succumb to the homicidal viral maniac that is COVID-19. That biggest blessing is life.
If you are reading this, you have crossed over to 2021 and you are no doubt in at least some way hoping that this year will be better than 2020. I don’t blame you because I am too. But having survived and in many ways thrived in 2020, there are a few lessons that should prove helpful in 2021.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Benjamin Franklin was right then and he’s right now. This includes goals, dreams, decisions, and your health. Whatever it is that you have been saying that you are going to do, do it. Whatever it is that you have been avoiding for whatever reason, handle it. Stop making excuses. 2021 can be your year but only if you put forth the effort.
Be intentional with your time and your talent. The best book that I read in 2020 was The Best Yes by Lysa Terkuerst. My best friend suggested this book as I was sharing my word for 2020 with her which was “boundaries”. As a multi-passionate career woman, mom, and wife, the juggling act can be intense. If you are not careful, you can find yourself spent and frustrated trying to keep up with everything and everybody. If 2020 taught me one thing, it taught me plenty and that is saying yes to more than I should is not worth it. The bottom line is if it is not your best yes, then it is a no.
Love on your family and friends a little harder. Make time and take time for the people who matter most. Do not take them or the moments together for granted. Take all the pictures and videos that you can. This year has thoroughly reinforced this notion. Cherish the moments with your family and friends. Be intentional about reaching out to those loved ones that you care about but have not seen or heard from in a while. I lost a close friend, suddenly and unexpectedly in 2020 and I still think of her daily and wish that I had called her sooner when the thought initially occurred to me.
4. Improve and or maintain your health. The healthier you are the better you will feel and the better you can fight off infections. Eat nutritious meals and be physically active. If this is an area of struggle for you then take baby steps and try one thing at a time. Make time and be proactive in getting routine check-ups including preventative health screenings as indicated such as a mammogram or colonoscopy.
5. Be as clean as you can be. If you have not learned anything else from 2020, hopefully, you really do know the power of good hand hygiene. Whatever you do in 2021, do not stop washing your hands and your high contact surfaces. Do not stop wearing your mask properly over your nose and mouth. Respect each other’s space and maintain social distancing when appropriate.
6. Live your life to the fullest. You never know when or if certain opportunities will arise again and you do not want a life of shoulda, coulda, woulda. If 2021 allows, take the trip, change jobs, start the new hobby, visit the new church, join the new organization, go on the interview, start school, launch a business, retire, write the book, relocate, build the house, pay off debt, volunteer or whatever it is that you want to do. Probably more than any year before, 2020 has taught us that tomorrow is not promised.
I hope that you are entering 2021 with thanksgiving and expectations. I am excited for what is to come and thankful to be around to see it. I hope that 2021 brings renewing and refreshing to all and that we see a sliver of light at the end of the dark tunnel that is COVID-19.
Happy New Year!!
What lessons did you learn in 2020? How will you apply them in 2021?